Queer Identity Negotiation in Taiwanese Tongzhi’s Relationships with Mainland Gay Men in China

Wei Luo


In this study, I conducted in-depth interviews with 27 participants to examine how tongzhi from Taiwan, a sexually liberal society, manage sexual identity conflicts when dating gay men from mainland China, which is less tolerant of homosexuality. I found that they adopted identity maintenance, accommodation, and assimilation strategies to cope with such conflicts. Drawing on queer intercultural communication research, I also identified and examined the intercultural flows of queer identities and normativities between these 2 non-Western cultural subjects. I argued that Taiwanese tongzhi, through appropriating and indigenizing several cultural and ideological discourses, interculturally produced tongzhi normativity and generalized it to mainland gay men. Meanwhile, they functioned as queer intercultural agents, reproducing Western gay normativity in mainland China. Furthermore, I demonstrated how the concept of tongzhi influences narratives about Taiwan and mainland China, adding a queer perspective to understanding the complexities and dynamics of cross-strait relations.


queer intercultural communication, identity conflict, identity negotiation, communication accommodation, intergroup communication

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